Chile goes big on solar

At 200 meters tall and with over 10,600 mirrors, Atacama 1 is expected to be the largest solar plant running on a single tower in the world. The plant is expected to generate 110 megawatts 24/7. Chile is already well-known for renewable energy initiatives and the tower is hoped to be its  newest triumph in solar PV.

Business Development Manager Roberto Herrera of Spanish company Abengoa, owner of Atacama 1, stated via the Guardian,

“The marginal costs in Chile are the lowest of any of our power plants … When it is built, we’ll only need 50 maintenance staff … The cost is already at the same level as gas – $120 per megawatt hour – and the idea is for it to fall as the technology improves.”

Piggybacking on the Atacama 1 project is Google, which plans to build its first Latin American data center in Chile, with its Quilicura headquarters expected to be fully-powered with solar energy come 2017. With solar power’s returns against fossil fuels, pollution, climate change and the likes, investing in the resource in the Latam region sounds like the best option.

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